“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
Heads of governments during the opening session of the African Union summit on January 30, 2015 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Trade and investment - New priorities for Asian-African ties

At a summit in Indonesia, leaders of Asia and Africa have pledged to cooperate more closely and called for a financial world order more open to their emerging economies. But is this a relationship between equal partners?

Deutsche Welle, 23 April 2015

Indonesian President Joko Widodo addresses the opening of the Asian-African
Summit in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, on April 22, 2015

"The view which says that global economic problems can only be solved by the World Bank, the IMF, the ADB, is an obsolete view that needs discarding," Joko Widodo told delegates on April 22 at the start of this year's Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the gathering between leaders from both regions. "There needs to be change," Jokowi said, adding it was imperative that "we build a new international economic order that is open to new emerging economic powers."

A similar comment was made by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said that "a new type of international relations" was needed to encourage cooperation between Asian and African nations, according to China's state-run news agency Xinhua.

While no mention was made of the new China-led financial institutions such as the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the Silk Road Fund, analysts agree that both Asia and Africa want a reform of the international financial architecture to reduce their reliance on the Bretton Woods multilateral financial institutions.

Created by the United States and Europe after World War II, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have been at the centre of the post-World War II monetary order. The Asian Development Bank or ADB is viewed by some as dominated by Japan.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Chinese
President Xi Jinping met on the summit
In this context, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said in the conference that "African and Asian countries are a formidable force... yet that numerical strength counts for little when it comes to the running and control of the multilateral system."

A new model?

While the China-led initiatives have been criticized by some as a way for Beijing to challenge Western-backed institutions, there are others who believe these new development banks may have a positive impact on emerging economies.

In fact, more than 40 countries have already announced their intention to join the AIIB - set to be launched by the end of 2015 - as founding members, including some of Europe's largest economies, with the US and Japan being notable absentees.

"While the IMF, World Bank, and ADB have a vital role to play, they cannot meet the needs of the 21st century global economy by themselves, especially in light of the refusal of the US Congress to allow China and others a greater voice in them," Gregory Poling, a Southeast Asia expert at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) told DW.

At the same time, the statements made by Asian and African leaders at the two-day conference highlight just how much the relationship between the two regions has changed since 1955, when the first Asia-Africa Summit took place in the city of Bandung on Java island. At the time, several of the 30 participating countries had just gained independence from colonial rule and were seeking to forge a common identity. And other colonies were trying to rally international support to obtain independence.

From independence to investment

Six decades later, however, priorities have changed. First of all, there is no longer a Cold War and therefore no longer a Third World to which Asian and African non-aligned states belong – an aspect which fundamentally changed the politics of the states involved in this year's summit. But perhaps most importantly, the summit has become a key as a platform for diplomacy and boosting ties among participating states, as the meeting between the leaders of Japan and China on the sidelines of this year's summit shows.

"The Asia-Africa Summit has become a major chance for Asian leaders to send a message that we now live in a multi-polar world, in which Asia's political and economic clout must be seen as at least as important as that of the US and Europe," Poling told DW.

Some of the summit participants are even G-20 members such as Indonesia, China, India and South Africa. This is perhaps also a reason why Indonesian President Widodo has touted the forum as the place to realize the Bandung spirit by lowering trade barriers and thus strengthening trade and investment cooperation.

Analyst Poling is of the view that "whereas 1955 was an American- and European-driven global economy, 2015 is a world driven economically by Asia, with African states themselves of growing economic importance."While participating states made up only a quarter of the world economic output 60 years ago, they are now responsible for more than half of global GDP."

Strengthening ties

In light of this development, Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at IHS, a global analytics firm, argues that the current focus of the Africa-Asia relationship is more about economic and investment ties. In fact, the analyst points out that trade ties between Asia and Africa have been completely transformed since 1955, notably led by China's economic ascendancy to become the world's second largest economy.

"The rise of China as an industrial power has generated tremendous growth in demand for imports of commodities, and Africa has become an increasingly important source," he told DW.

According to IHS, bilateral trade between China and Africa has increased from $12 billion in 1955 to $200 billion by 2014. China's bilateral trade with Africa is far greater than that of Asia's second largest economy, Japan, which is in the order of $30 billion.

India has strong trade ties with Africa, with bilateral trade between having reached $70 billion in 2014, according to IHS. Indonesia's bilateral trade with Africa has reached $11 billion. However, most investment flow in one direction – from Asia to Africa, a fact that highlights the nature of Asian-African ties for the time being.

Equal partners?

Although the math suggests that development gap between Asia and Africa will narrow as the century progresses, Asia clearly has a greater weight today than does Africa - a fact which is reflected to a large extent in the size and structure of their respective economies.

'There needs to be change,' Indonesian
 President Jokowi said during the conference
Moreover, Asia's trade with Africa generally reflects the comparative advantage of each region, with Asia being the factory of the world for manufactures, and Africa being a major exporter of agricultural and mineral commodities, as economist Biswas pointed out.

"These strengths are reflected in the composition of bilateral trade, with Asian exports to Africa dominated by manufactures, while African exports to Asia are dominated by mineral and agricultural commodities. Also Asia is a major source of private sector investment as well as government development finance, so Asian countries such as China and Japan tend to be large sources of investment flows into African countries," he said.

But while Asia expands its relations to other parts of the world on an institutional level – such as the Asia-Europe-Meeting (ASEM) or the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) - there are few such institutions in place between Asia and Africa.

Ten years ago, on the 50th anniversary of the Bandung conference, leaders from both regions agreed to forge a "new Asian-African strategic partnership." However, this has only resulted in technical cooperation, exchange programs and non-binding economic forum. This year the summit participants emphasized what they have in common, but it seems that the differences between the two regions are bigger than 60 years ago.

President Joko Widodo, center, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, as
 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, looks on at the opening of the
60th Asian-African Conference in Jakarta on Wednesday. (AACC2015/Prasetyo Utomo)

Related Articles:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Kenya seeks to burnish security image

Kenya is trying to rebuild public confidence in its security forces after their belated response to the Garrisa massacre. Senior officials have been suspended and thousands of new police recruits are being vetted.

Deutsche Welle, 22 April 2015

Students took to the streets of Nairobi after the Garissa massacre to
complain about lax national security

The Kenyan government has announced that two civil servants and seven senior police officers have beensuspended and could face charges of criminal negligence in connection with the massacre at Garissa University College earlier this month.

Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said the officials appeared to have failed to have taken the necessary action ahead of the attack, despite intelligence warnings.

"Each will be held accountable for any acts of omission that endanger the lives and property of Kenyans," he said.

Kenya media claimed after the lethal attack that warnings were ignored and the university left virtually unguarded.

148 people were killed when al-Shabab militants targeted non-Muslim students on the campus on April 2.

Local media criticized Kenyan's
security forces for their slow reponse
to the Garissa attack
A seven hour delay between the time the authorities learned of the assault and the arrival of police commandos on the scene infuriated students who took to the streets of the capital Nairobi in protest a few days after the massacre.

Controversy surrounds the use of a special police plane to transport the family of a senior police official back from their holiday on the coast on the day of the attack.

Nkaissery insisted that the plane was in the coastal region anyway "on an official training mission and on its way back gave a lift to the family of the police air wing commander." He said this was authorized and did not affect the response to the massacre.

More police officers

Facing criticism over security in the immediate aftermath of the attack, President Kenyatta pledged to recruit more than 10,000 new police officers.

This followed an earlier drive to recruit 10,000 new police officers in July 2014 which was halted after a court ruling said that it contravened the constitution.

That ruling came in reponse to a petition lodged by Kenya's Independent Policing Oversight Authority which said the recruitment drive was tainted by corruption and should therefore be declared null and void.

The Garissa attack has made some
Kenyan students feel vulnerable
After the Garissa attack, Kenyatta overturned the 2014 court ruling. This prompted complaints from human rights organizations and others, whereupon the government launched a fresh recruitment drive.

Preliminary vetting of new police recruits has already begun. 500 applicants turned up at Nyayo National Stadium, south of Nairobi, on Tuesday (21.04.2015) where their educational qualfications were scrutinized.

That was just one hurdle the applicants had to take. A second was a physical fitness test which involved running 1,500 meters. Not all of the applicants passed. Marcy Juma complained of health problems after the physical exertion. "No, I'm not feeling good," she told DW's Nairobi correspondent James Shimanyula . Others like Cynthia Chemurusoi appeared to complete the course with ease. "I'm OK, I have done my best," she said.

Jokowi Says Colonization of Palestine Must End Immediately

Jakarta Globe, Ezra Sihite & Novy Lumanauw, Apr 21, 2015

President Joko Widodo says he fully supports Palestinian independence.
 (Antara Foto/Wahyu Putro A)

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo has reiterated his support for an independent Palestine, vowing Indonesia would push for Palestinian membership in the United Nations.

“Palestine is the only nation still under colonization. This must end immediately,” Joko told delegates of the Asian-African Conference in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The nations of Asia and Africa “owe the Palestinian people six decades,” Joko said, referring to the inaugural Asian-African Conference in 1955, convened by leaders of the newly independent states of both continents who came out strongly in favor of the principle of self-determination for all.

Leaders attending the 2015 Asian-African Conference will similarly issue a statement in support of an independent Palestine, along with declarations to reiterate the 1955 Bandung Spirit and to underline new partnerships among Asian and African countries.  
Representatives from countries attending the Asian-African Conference have indicated general agreement to support the Palestinians’ bid for statehood.

The wording of the final declaration is still being negotiated.

Attending countries have also expressed interest in starting or strengthening economic, social and cultural cooperation with the Palestinian National Authority.

‘Palestine’s friend’

On Tuesday, Joko met Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to discuss boosting bilateral partnerships in trade and religious affairs.

Responding to the president’s expression of support for Palestinian independence and a UN seat, Hamdallah said: “President Joko is Palestine’s friend.”

Speaking after the meeting, Joko announced Indonesia and the Palestinian Authority had agreed on establishing an Indonesian diplomatic mission in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“We have asked for permission to open a consulate office in Ramallah and the prime minister said he would support such a plan,” Joko told Tempo.co. “The consulate will help facilitate relations between Indonesia and Palestine in the future.”

The two nations have also agreed to work on greater cooperation in trade, with  Hamdallah suggesting a tax exemption for Palestinian products.

“We still need to review the suggestion. If it is possible, we will do it,” Joko said.

Throughout his presidential campaign last year, Joko repeatedly expressed his pro-Palestinian stance while condemning  Israeli attacks on Gaza.

His position first emerged during a presidential debate in June, at a time when his support among Muslim voters was flagging following a smear campaign that questioned his Islamic faith.

The Bandung Spirit refers to a set of principles first emphasized during the inaugural Asian-African Conference in 1955. It stresses the importance of peaceful coexistence and includes the promotion of economic and cultural cooperation, the protection of human rights and the principle of self-determination.

Investment friendly

The president on Tuesday opened the Asian-African Business Summit, one of several events at the conference.

In his opening speech, Joko asked delegates from both continents to create friendlier investment climates by simplifying the processes for obtaining various business licenses and permits.

He pointed to Indonesia’s own attempts with its newly launched one-stop investment licensing service.

Joko failed to mention, however, that his administration came close to foiling the program by introducing a language policy for foreign workers, requiring all expatriates to pass an Indonesian fluency test.

The president then added that both Asia and Africa had huge untapped economic potential, calling for more trade between the two continents.

Asia’s exports to Africa make up just 26 percent of the continent’s total export figures. Conversely, Africa’s export to Asia make up only 3 percent of the goods the continent sells overseas.

An increase in trade would made countries of both continents less dependent on  Western markets and thus, their political influence, Joko said.

“I believe investment opportunities in the two regions are huge, especially for the manufacturing, agricultural, infrastructure and energy industries. I am glad that these sectors are being discussed in this summit,” the president said.

He added that Indonesia was keen to expand its market in Africa, particularly in the garment industry.

“I think it is important for us to promote [Indonesian] products sold overseas. There are so many of them,” he said. “The current cooperation [with African countries] is nowhere near its real potential.”

International business expert Tirta Nugraha Mursitama of Bina Nusantara University pointed out that Indonesia still had a lot to learn from China, which has aggressively invested and expanded its presence in Africa in recent years.

“China is not only strong in Asia but also Africa. We must follow this example. We also have large state-owned enterprises but we need one strong state-owned holdings company like Singapore’s Temasek,” he said.

He urged Joko to appoint an agency to coordinate Indonesia’s trading policies, a measure that Japan and Malaysia have already taken.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Indonesia Woos African Business

Jakarta Globe, Arientha Primanita & Leonard Cahyoputra, Apr 21, 2015

Flags from Asian and African countries are hoisted on a main street in Jakarta on
 April 14, 2015 in preparation for the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference
 in Indonesia taking place between April 22-24, 2015, which leaders from Asian and
African countries are attending. (AFP Photo /Bay Ismoyo)

Jakarta. Indonesia has called on countries in Asia and Africa to strengthen economic ties and fulfill the massive trade potential between the two continents.

Franky Sibarani, the chairman of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said on Tuesday that emerging economies, mostly in Asia and Africa, received more than $700 billion in foreign direct investment last year, or 56 percent of the total global investment, citing data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) 2014 World Investment report.

He said this was a remarkable achievement, given that global investment flows declined 8 percent last year compared to the year before. He also quoted Financial Times data that showed total direct investment among Asia and Africa countries only reached 35 percent of total global investment.

“With this big potential, Asian and African countries can explore available opportunities and create beneficial cooperation,” Franky said at the Asian-African Business Summit in Jakarta, part of the 60th anniversary commemoration of the Asian-African Conference, taking place in Jakarta and Bandung this week.

“Therefore, let us all take advantage of this good momentum to strengthen the economic cooperation in investments between Asian and African countries.”

Some 600 local and foreign business leaders attended Tuesday’s summit, which was hosted by Indonesian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

Investments in Indonesia from Asian and African countries between 2010 and 2014 amounted to $58.58 billion, according to BKPM figures, with Asian countries accounting for $55.56 billion.

The main investments from African countries came in the sectors of food, agriculture, tourism and construction, while investments from Asia included transportation, telecommunications, food, agriculture, metals, machinery and electronics. Most foreign investment in Indonesia was concentrated in Java.

Franky said Indonesia’s government was committed to creating a climate that was conducive to foreign investment. He said the government was exploring ways to get investors to participate in a host of development projects, particularly infrastructure and manufacturing.

“The BKPM is ready to facilitate Asia and Africa investors to realize their investments in Indonesia,” he said.
The government launched in January a “one-stop” platform meant to help investors acquire business permits, and is working on improvements in other sectors to boost investments.

Meanwhile, Kadin chairman Suryo Bambang Sulisto said Tuesday’s summit was also a chance for Indonesian businesses to gain greater knowledge about Africa’s largely untapped market potential.

He said the trade balance between Asia and Africa over the past 20 years had increased 100 times to $200 billion. “We expect it will reach $1 trillion by 2020,” Suryo said, adding that investors would look to do business with African countries that were “free of conflict.”

“There are some stable countries in Africa. Besides South Africa,” — rocked in recent days by violent xenophobic attacks — “other potential countries are Nigeria” — where the militant Islamic group Boko Haram has taken over entire towns and sent the military on the run — “and Egypt,” whose military in 2013 overthrew the democratically elected president in a coup.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Dutch agree new tax deal with Malawi, aim to stop tax avoidance

DutchNews.nl, April 20, 2015

Photo: Dutch foreign ministry
The Netherlands is hoping to stop multinationals using agreements with the Dutch tax office to avoid paying tax in developing countries by signing 23 new treaties with African states, the Volkskrant says on Monday.

The treaties will allow African countries to make claims against companies which try to shift profits via the Netherlands for tax purposes or which only have a letterbox company in the country. 

The first treaty was signed with Malawi on Sunday. ‘It is extremely important that the initiative remains with the developing country,’ aid minister Lilianne Ploumen is quoted as saying. 

Malawi tore up a tax treaty with the Netherlands in 2013 because it was being used to avoid taxation, the Volkskrant says. 

Ploumen said the Dutch government does not recognise claims that the Netherlands is a tax haven but said the country was well-placed to take concrete steps in the absence of a global approach.

Related Article:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ebola-hit Liberia rebuilds devastated child healthcare system

Yahoo – AFP, Zoom Dosso, 16 April 2015

A nurse works on April 7, 2015 in Liberia's first ever a children's hospital,
 just opened in Monrovia by Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) as part of the 
country's response to the daunting challenge of repairing its wrecked health
service (AFP Photo/Zoom Dosso)

Monrovia (AFP) - Estella Verdier keeps vigil by her sick four-month-old grandson's hospital bed, praying for his recovery but placing her faith in the earthly healing powers of Liberia's first ever children's hospital.

The 46-bed unit, just opened in Monrovia by Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), is part of the country's response to the challenge of repairing its wrecked health service as it emerges from the nightmare of Ebola.

Like countless young women in impoverished Liberia, Verdier's daughter died in childbirth, leaving the 63-year-old the infant's main guardian.

"Since then he continues to get sick. Anything he eats, he vomits it. No need to ask me how I feel -- I am feeling bad, of course -- but with this well-equipped hospital I have hope that the kid will survive," Verdier tells AFP.

Liberia is one of three countries, together with Guinea and Sierra Leone, that were ravaged by the worst outbreak of Ebola in history.

The epidemic has killed at least 10,600 people since December 2013, some 500 of them healthcare workers.

Clinics which could not cope with the highly infectious virus were forced to close as the death toll rose, and with it the number of Liberians dying from easily treatable diseases.

"We saw people dying simply because they could not access timely medical care. They were usually suffering from illnesses like severe malaria or typhoid," said Philippe Le Vaillant, MSF's head of mission in Liberia.

"Pregnant women facing obstetrical complications also have suffered the same fate."

Recovery phase

Meanwhile the vaccination rate "took a very deep dive", according to Sheldon Yett, the Liberia representative for UNICEF, the United Nations children's agency.

A woman sits next to her baby on April 7, 2015 in Liberia's first ever children's 
hospital, just opened in Monrovia by Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), part of 
the country's response to the daunting challenge of repairing its wrecked health
service (AFP Photo/Zoom Dosso)

UNICEF's own contribution to building up paediatric healthcare includes supporting a government campaign planned for May to immunise more than 600,000 under-fives against measles and polio.

"Polio immunisation was at 88 percent in 2013 compared to 49 percent by November 2014. Measles coverage among one-year-olds fell from 74 percent to 46 percent," Yett told AFP.

Liberia is now in the Ebola recovery phase with no new cases reported for weeks, but like Sierra Leone and Guinea has missed a goal of being "Ebola free" by mid-April.

The country of four million people had been on course to meet the target but on March 20 authorities recorded a new patient who died a week later, meaning the 42-day countdown to Ebola-free status had to start again.

With its Ebola clinics now empty, Liberia's priority is curing the ailing healthcare system.

"We basically decided to come and help the medical system in the effort of restoration after Ebola hit," MSF project coordinator Ondrej Horvath told AFP.

"We were thinking how to do this (so) we sent a small team of specialists who explored Monrovia... One of the suggestions was to focus on children."

MSF began by helping clinics welcome back parents who kept their children out of clinics for fear they might become Ebola carriers.

"We decided to open an in-patient department, specialised in the hospitalisation of children, so it is not a clinic where you go in, get consultation and medication and get out," Horvath said.

'I feel ready'

The hospital was opened on March 23 in an old three-storey block of flats rented from a former cabinet minister in the northern suburb of Bardnesville.

Inside the L-shaped concrete block, MSF healthcare workers triage young patients, ensuring they do not have Ebola before admitting them for treatment for a variety of other illnesses.

Health staff care for a baby on April 7, 2015 in Liberia's first ever children's hospital, 
just opened in Monrovia by Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), part of the country's
 response to the daunting challenge of repairing its wrecked health service (AFP
Photo/Zoom Dosso)

The unit, which can extend its capacity to 100 beds, is equipped to cope with any illness other than AIDS, tuberculosis and Ebola, says MSF, known in the English-speaking world as Doctors Without Borders.

"In our hospital we treat kids with common diseases like malaria, malnutrition, pneumonia, et cetera," says paediatric specialist Stephanie Taylor.

Newborns who become ill after home births are a significant proportion of the intake, says Taylor, along with infants malnourished because of prohibitive increases in food prices caused by the Ebola crisis.

MSF has also been assisting James David Junior Memorial Hospital in Monrovia's Paynesville neighbourhood to upgrade its paediatric and maternal services to standards that now take account of Ebola.

"The virus has taught us all a lesson in the hardest way," Beatrice Jlaka, nursing supervisor in the intensive care unit at JDJ hospital, said in an interview posted on MSF's website.

"Many of our colleagues have died fighting the disease without proper training or equipment. To honour them, we must always be careful. I am no longer afraid to work. I feel ready."

Related Article:

“ .. The Role of Gaia in Human Consciousness

One of those times might be frightening for you to know about, since it was a full cooperation with Gaia for your termination, and a pandemic almost wiped humanity off the map. A pandemic! Now, you say, "What has that got to do with Human consciousness, Kryon?" Pay attention, dear ones, because this is the day where the teaching was given by my partner, and he put together the Nine Human Attributes. One of the attribute sets included three Gaia attributes and one of them was the consciousness of the planet. Gaia is related to Human consciousness!

Are you starting to connect the dots? You are connected to this planet in a profound and spiritual way. As goes humanity goes the planet's consciousness. Gaia, Mother Nature, whatever you want to call it, cooperates with Human consciousness. If you spend 1,000 years killing each other, then Gaia will do its best to cooperate with your desires! Gaia will look at Human consciousness and try to help with what you have shown you like to do! Did you know this role of Gaia with you? It's a partner with you, fast tracking what you give to it. You may wish to review what the indigenous of the planet still understand. Gaia is a partner!

Pandemic: Don't you find it odd that in the last 50 years, when you have a population of seven billion Human Beings, with up to 2,000 airplanes in the air at any given moment, going between almost every conceivable place, that there has not been a pandemic in your lifetime? There have been five starts of potential pandemics over the last 20 years, yet none became serious. Did any of you put this together? Dear ones, when the world was far less populated a few hundred years ago, with no mass travel to spread a virus, there were still millions wiped out by a pandemic. With the increased population and mass travel, there is far more danger today than before. It doesn't make sense, does it? What happened to stop it?

When you know humanity's relationship to Gaia, it makes sense. Gaia is a life-force that is your partner, watching you change the balance of light and dark and reflecting what Humans want. It has polarity, too! Perhaps it's time to start your meditations with thanking your planet Earth for supporting you in the spirituality of your Akash, for always being with you, a life-force that is always present. The ancients started their ceremonies in that way. Have you forgotten?


Now, I've just set the stage for the next subject, haven't I? Ebola. Are you afraid yet? Gaia is a life-force that is a part of Human consciousness. My partner put it on the screen today so you could see the connections [during the lecture series]. Now it's time to connect the dots. Dear one, Gaia is in the battle, too, for here comes something scary that you haven't had in your lifetime and you're afraid of it - the potential of a pandemic on the planet.

There's a very famous film that has some dialogue that my partner will quote. Some of you will know it and some of you won't, but here it is: "Have a little fire, scarecrow?" What are you afraid of? Darkness? Gaia is in the battle with you and is actively pursuing solutions through light. The energy of the planet is with you in this fight! The ebola virus is a shock and a surprise. It is propelled by ignorance and fear, so it can flourish. Look at where it started and look at how it gets its ability to continue. It expands its fear and power easily with those who believe it's a curse instead of those who understand the science.

Villages are filled with those who refuse to leave their family members because they believe the disease is a curse! FEAR! Instead of understanding that they should be in isolation from the virus, the family dies together through ignorance and fear. This represents how darkness works. Are you going to become afraid also? Dear ones, ebola will be conquered. Know this and be at peace. Pray for light for those in the villages who are afraid, that they can know more about how to keep the spread of this disease and live to see their families. .”

Monday, April 13, 2015

Palestine and Permanent Seats on Asia-Africa Agenda

Of 109 invitations sent out for the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference, only 57 countries have RSVP’ed

Jakarta Globe, Erwida Maulia, Apr 14, 2015

A declaration on Palestinian statehood is among three documents expected to be
 signed by heads of state or government at the end of the Asian-African
conference. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Jakarta. Observers have high hopes that the upcoming 60th anniversary commemorations of the Asian-African Conference in Jakarta and Bandung can produce significant outcomes — ranging from a concrete road map for an independent Palestine, to a higher geopolitical stature for countries from the two continents.

Teuku Rezasyah, the executive director of the Indonesian Center for Democracy, Diplomacy and Defense, said on Monday that he believed the high-profile commemoration would be more than just a series of ceremonies.

“It will have substance. If Palestine is indeed on the agenda, the commemoration will be substantial, because Palestine is the only participant from the 1955 Asian-African Conference that has still not yet gained independence,” said Rezasyah, who is also an international relations lecturer at Padjajaran University in Bandung, where the historic conference was held in 1955.

A declaration on Palestinian statehood is among three documents expected to be signed by heads of state or government at the end of the 60th anniversary commemoration of the conference, which kicks off this Sunday in Jakarta with a meeting of senior officials from participating countries.

The Asian-African Summit, which will feature heads of state and government, is scheduled for April 22-23 at the Jakarta Convention Center, while a ceremony to commemorate the 1955 conference will take place in Bandung the following day, and will include a walk by the leaders down Jalan Asia Afrika in the West Java capital, retracing a similar procession by the leaders of 60 years ago.

The anniversary conference is also expected to conclude with two other declarations: the Bandung Message and the Declaration of Reinvigorating the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership. Both are expected to redefine and bolster the relationships and partnerships between Asian and African nations.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said in Jakarta last week that the three documents had been intensively discussed by AAC representatives in New York.

“The deliberations in New York are 70 percent complete. The target is [that by the time of the summit] in Jakarta they will be 80 percent complete, and then they will be discussed at the head-of-state level,” Retno said as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Rezasyah said that although the pro-Palestinian independence cause kept failing at larger international forums, including the United Nations, he believed the meetings in Jakarta and Bandung next week would reinvigorate the cause.

“The Asian-African Summit gives the participants more liberty [to openly express their support for Palestine]. The five countries that hold veto power [in the UN Security Council] won’t be in attendance, except for China. And China will definitely support [Palestinian independence],” he said.

Rezasyah also said he expected the conference to conclude with strong calls for changes or additions to the permanent membership of the UN Security Council, held by the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain.

“Those five countries do not equally represent global citizens by population, geography or politics,” Rezasyah said. “The [conference] should conclude with proposals for new permanent members of the UN Security Council.”

He said Indonesia could make a strong case for a permanent seat on council, representing Southeast Asia; Australia could represent the Australasian region; and either Egypt or Algeria could represent the Middle East and Africa.

“The proposals can be included in a joint communique that will be read out on the last day [of the conference],” Rezasyah said.

Hikmahanto Juwana, a professor of international law at the University of Indonesia, said conference participants should stick to three key issues if they wanted the event to carry any weight internationally.

“First, they should discuss how Asian and African nations should bring color to the existing universal values,” he said.

“The so-called universal values we’ve had this whole time are influenced exclusively by European states or other nations that carry European traditions, such as the United States. In the past, there were attempts to promote Asian values, but they didn’t work. We can try now with Asian and African values.”

Second, Hikmahanto said, Asian and African nations must proclaim their rejection of developed nations’ intervention through economic dependency.

“Many Asian and African states are bound by dependency in the economic sector. [Developed nations] intervene with other countries’ sovereignty — including Indonesia’s — through loans or grants,” he said.

“This isn’t forced intervention, but intervention caused by dependency. This issue must be addressed.”

Third, the Asian and African leaders must discuss how to tackle crises currently afflicting their parts of the world, such as the militant uprisings of Boko Haram in West Africa and Al Shabaab in East Africa, Hikmahanto said.

Rezasyah said this was an important point, given past experiences that showed how intervention by the United States and Europe in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan had left behind destruction in those two nations and destabilized the Middle East.

Hikmahanto expressed doubt, though, that the conference would carry any weight if the number of heads of state or government confirmed to attend remained as low as reported.

Retno said last Friday said only around 25 foreign leaders had confirmed their attendance. The number of countries sending a delegation currently stands at 57, out of the 109 invited.

Among those confirmed to attend are Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe said at a meeting in Tokyo on Monday that Japan would use the conference to make further contributions to the development of Asia and Africa, according to the Japan Times.

The newspaper also said Abe would deliver a speech on April 22, which, coming on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, is expected to convey Japan’s remorse over its actions in the war and explain the country’s postwar path as a pacifist nation.

Xi’s attendance, meanwhile, is meant to show that the Chinese government intends to contribute directly to maintaining the spirit of the 10-point “declaration on promotion of world peace and cooperation” produced at the end of the 1955 conference, according to Xie Feng, the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia.

“China and Indonesia are friends. Moreover, the Bandung Spirit can bring a new chapter in Asia and Africa’s relations,” Xie was quoted as saying in Jakarta last week by the official website of the AAC Commemorations 2015.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said 18 foreign leaders were seeking bilateral meetings with President Joko Widodo on the sidelines of the event, including Xi, Abe and leaders from Myanmar, Iran, Palestine, Vietnam, Jordan, Nepal, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

The 60th anniversary commemoration of the Bandung conference will also feature a host of other events on the sidelines, including the Asian-African Business Summit in Jakarta, as well as a “smart city” summit, a student conference, and a carnival, all in Bandung.

Nearly 10,000 police personnel will be dispatched to provide security during the series of events.
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Japanese Ebola test gives results in 11 minutes: researcher

Yahoo – AFP, 9 April 2015

Health workers in protective suits carry a patient suspected of having Ebola,
 on their way to a treatment centre in Macenta, Guinea, on November 21, 2014
(AFP Photo/Kenzo Tribouillard)

Tokyo (AFP) - A Japanese research team said on Thursday it had developed a field test for Ebola that gives results in just over 11 minutes -- down from the 90-minute test used now.

The breakthrough by Nagasaki University's Institute of Tropical Medicine will allow medics to move much more quickly in treating people with the haemorrhagic fever, Professor Jiro Yasuda told AFP.

"The result time was unexpectedly short," said Yasuda of the trial conducted in Guinea last month on 100 samples, of which 47 proved positive.

The Ebola virus, transmitted through 
contact with infected bodily fluids, has
 killed more than 10,000 people in 
western Africa since it re-emerged in 
December 2013 (AFP Photo/Francisco 
The Guinean government has now asked the institute and its collaboration partner Toshiba to supply equipment to roll out the test, he added.

The test hinges on what the researchers have called a "primer", a substance that amplifies only those genes specific to the Ebola virus found in a blood sample or other bodily fluid.

Using existing techniques, ribonucleic acid (RNA) -- biological molecules used in the coding of genes -- is extracted from any viruses present in a sample.

This is then used to synthesise the viral DNA, which can be mixed with the primer and then heated to 60-65 degrees Celsius (140-149 Fahrenheit).

If Ebola is present, DNA specific to the virus is amplified by the action of the primers. The by-products from the process cause the liquid to become cloudy, providing visual confirmation, Yasuda said.

Currently, a method called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, is used to detect the Ebola virus. This requires doctors to heat and cool samples repeatedly and takes at least 90 minutes, sometimes up to two hours.

The Ebola virus, transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids, has killed more than 10,000 people in western Africa since it re-emerged in December 2013.

Anger in Somali capital at Kenya cash transfer freezes

Yahoo – AFP, 9 April 2015

With no formal banking system in the impoverished country, diaspora Somalis
 use money transfer services to send cash back home to support their families,
 sending some $1.3 billion (1.1 billion euros) each year, dwarfing foreign aid
 (AFP Photo/Mohamed Abdiwahab)

Mogadishu (AFP) - Residents of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Thursday condemned as "collective punishment" Kenya's shutting down of money transfer services to the country over suspected links to the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab.

Kenya on Wednesday froze key transfer companies vital for impoverished Somalia, as part of a crackdown on alleged Shebab supporters following the university massacre of almost 150 people by the Islamists last week.

"It is a bad decision that collectively punishes the Somali people," said Abdisalim Mohamed, a resident in Mogadishu.

Kenyan soldiers question people at
 the front entrance of Moi University in
 Garissa on April 3, 2015 (AFP Photo/
Carl De Souza)
"It is already affecting me directly, because I cannot get money and help from my daughter, who has a business in Kenya."

With no formal banking system in the impoverished country, diaspora Somalis use money transfer services to send cash back home to support their families, sending some $1.3 billion (1.1 billion euros) each year, dwarfing foreign aid.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday warned Shebab fighters his government would respond to the killing of 148 people at the university in Garissa in the "severest way" possible, with warplanes on Monday attacking Islamist bases in southern Somalia.

But Kenyatta also warned that the masterminds behind last Thursday's attack were inside Kenya, not Somalia.

Somalis, like Kenyans, are struggling to combat the Shebab -- and now they say Nairobi's decision is harming them.

"It is sad that the same people who are victims of Al-Shebab here, are also being punished because of Shebab," said Samira Hussein, a mother of five who works in Somalia, but whose husband and children are in Kenya.

Kenya's police on Wednesday issued a list of 85 people and businesses with suspected links to the Shebab, with the top name alleged Islamist commander Mohamed Mohamud, a Kenyan said to be the mastermind behind the university massacre in Garissa.

But the list also included money transfer companies, including Dahabshiil, one of the most important transfer companies across the wider Horn of Africa region.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud this week said "remittances are a critical lifeline to millions in poverty."

'Devastating consequences'

The Shebab fled their power base in Somalia's capital Mogadishu in 2011, and continue to battle the AU force, AMISOM, sent to drive them out that includes troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

The group has warned of further revenge attacks in neighbouring countries, notably Kenya and Uganda, in response to their participation in the AU force.

"It would better for Somalis that Kenya pulls its troops out of Somalia than stop remittances," said Mogadishu resident Ahmed Moalim Dahir.

The restrictions are also hampering business transactions.

Abdullahi Ahmed, who works for an international aid agency in Mogadishu, said that if Kenya maintains the ban -- currently blocking him from receiving his salary from Nairobi -- organisations and businesses would be forced to shift operations elsewhere.

"It will hit Kenya economically, because organisations will move to another country, like Djibouti," Ahmed said.

Banks in the United States and Europe have previously also moved to shut the transfer services, with aid agencies warning of "devastating consequences" from those measures.

A hard-line Islamist fighter stands guard as hundreds of residents watch
 amputation punishment carried out publicly by the Shebab group on
September 9, 2009 (AFP Photo/Mustafa Abdi)

"Hundreds of people are showing up here to get money from relatives, but after the Kenyan decision, people have to look for alternatives," said Mohamed Jamal, working in a Dahabshiil office in Mogadishu.

Somalia has been unstable since the collapse of Siad Barre's hardline regime in 1991, with the country's internationally-backed government, along with African Union forces, currently battling the Shebab.

Stopping remittances "would only compound the misery of a population cowed by terrorism," President Mohamud added.

But it is not only in Mogadishu the impact is already being felt.

In the Kenyan capital Nairobi, those in the largely ethnic Somali district of Eastleigh said the move had sparked frustration, with people arguing that those wanting to send cash to support the Shebab would still find easy ways to do so illegally.

"Closing the remittance companies was a bad idea - and it has nothing to do with security measures," businessman Mohamed Khalil said. "What the government should do is focus on intelligence based information."